Hermon Atkins MacNeil (1866-1947)
According to the Roman Bronze Works ledger, Only two casts of Mother and Papoose were ever done, both—#1 and #2 on the same day: November 9, 1906. No other casts are known. Of the model, MacNeil scholar, James Haas, wrote the following, "In the summer of 1895 [when MacNeil traveled in the Four Corners area] he modeled two dozen Indian-themed pieces. His subjects were Utes, Navajo, Acoma and Moqui Indians from which sprang his most famous work, Moqui Prayer for Rain.” Mother and Papoose appears to have been modeled by MacNeil while he was on this trip. A Massachusetts native, Hermon Atkins MacNeil studied in Boston, New York, and Paris before being asked to work on the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1891. While there, MacNeil saw Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and was inspired to take his classical training to the American West. MacNeil’s bronzes of Native Americans, perhaps more than those of any other sculptor, portray majesty while preserving the individuality of the subject. The spirituality Macneil’s First Americans convey is expressed through lightness and solidity rather than otherworldliness.
Hermon Atkins MacNeil
Mother and Papoose
Roman Bronze Works N.Y.
16 1/2 inches high